Episode 42: Returning to Work Safely During COVID-19 with Julie Hamilton

Returning to Work Safely During COVID-19 with Julie Hamilton

With many areas beginning to reopen after being shut down due to COVID-19, many people are wondering how they can return to work safely  particularly when they carry a high-risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19.

The good news is that protecting your health while returning to work falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is your right to ask for “reasonable accommodations” to help you stay safe and healthy.

Listen in as Tami talks with Julie Hamilton about new laws that have been passed to help employees dealing with COVID-related absences, how special work accommodations can help you stay safe, how to have these important conversations with your employers and more.

Key Points

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) has been put into place to help employees who have to be off work for COVID-19-related reasons. 
  • Many of us with fibromyalgia have weakened immune systems, so we need to limit our interactions with others and take precautions.
  • When it comes to job accommodations, we can be creative. We can think outside the box on how to keep you safe. 
  • Technology companies are very forward thinking in coming up with some of the job accommodation solutions for us.
  • When you go back to work, there’s high stress, fearfulness, and anxiety returning to work during COVID… Brush up on your coping mechanisms so that you can release that stress.  
  • With all the changes in life during COVID, you may need to learn some new fibromyalgia coping skills. You may need new tools for your fibro toolbox.
  • Know what your company’s policies are… and get a hold of your job description. That will give us an idea whether it’s really mandatory for you to work in the office or not. 

About Julie Hamilton

Julie Hamilton is a Certified Fibromyalgia Coach, Life Coach and Youth Life Coach. She has over 20 years experience as a Human Resources Director and Manager, with the last nine years in healthcare. In her role as an HR Director and Manager, she educated her coworkers, particularly nursing professionals, on the treatment and management of living with fibromyalgia. 

Julie has worked with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) since its inception in 1993, knows the requirements, and can effectively advise individuals on the necessities when working with their employer when they have a chronic disease. Julie’s specialty is helping young professionals who are frustrated with their health to excel in their career and regain their active social lives.

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Listener Shoutout

This episode was very informative. I especially appreciated learning the average number of steps a person with fibromyalgia takes each day… Thank you for all you do.”

~ Gina

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